Property editor of the NZ Herald

Secret to buying Auckland property: 'use parents' house', says super-investor

A $23 million 31-property Auckland investor has hit back at critics who say greedy landlords like him are stopping them buying a property and says most people don't realise how easy it is.

Ron Hoy Fong, QSM and third-generation New Zealander, this week said buying property was easy, anyone could do it, yet most New Zealanders were 'just over broke', working 9am-5pm with extremely limited financial knowledge.

Herald readers responded to an article this week.

Read more: What's stopping us getting rich: multimillionaire landlord explains.

It was greedy people like Hoy Fong who stopped them buying properties because investors were snatching places from first-home buyers, readers said.

Hoy Fong disagreed and went further, saying it was not investors' fault people were negative about wealth creation.

"If they realised how easy it was to get into property themselves," he said in a Focus video, citing a solo mother who within four years bought nine properties "just investing in her own unit that she lived in... and they used the equity from it on the increased value to use it as a deposit to buy the next one."

Asked how those without property could enter the market, Hoy Fong said many used parents' equity and the family home which was often mortgage-free, leaving that capital untapped.

"I've had other students - Tony, 52, called himself a loser and he was a loser. He lived at mum and dad's house. He had something like $7000 which was not enough to cut it. I said 'How bad is your relationship with mum and dad who live upstairs?' And he said 'horrible', they want to kick him out. I said 'Do they love you?' and he said 'Of course they do.' I said 'Go and ask them for a loan'.

Hoy Fong, an Auckland Property Investors Association member and property coach, is encouraging Aucklanders whose parents own houses to use that to get their own homes.

Apa Fatialofa, a mortgage broker of Mortgagecare, said there were "pros and cons".

"Parents want to help their children get into property and that's one way of doing it," he said, acknowledging that the parents' family home could be endangered by their children's mortgage default.

"People need to get independent legal advice so everyone's covered," Fatialofa said.

But Hoy Fong said using parents' equity was a good method and he sees few risks.

"It's not really sucking money out. It's investing in your own life. Do you want to stay working hard, just over broke, being poor?" Hoy Fong asked.

He told how he bought a Mt Wellington property, then used the equity as it rose to buy further places. He has $7 million debt.

"But I'm not going to go out and earn $7 million because my life would be wasted," he said, paying only loan interest, never loan principal.

People who criticised him were displaying tall poppy syndrome, he said.

One Sandringham two-bedroom brick and tile unit would rise in value by more than $200,000 when a third bedroom was added using the dining area, he said. One of his students had bought that place for just over $600,000 and it would be re-valued at more than $800,000, he predicted.

"If it drops 10 per cent, it won't matter," he said.

- NZ Herald

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